I have an obsession with bread. I don't mean basic US grocery store breads.
I mean the kind of bread that smells so deliciously fresh it makes your mouth water. The kind of bread which crunches just right when you squeeze it. The kind of bread that you can eat a plain slice of it and it actually tastes delicious and the texture doesn't turn to mushy slime in your mouth or stick to the back of your teeth. The kind of bread that is only good for a couple of days before it turns either stale or grows mold on it, because there are no artificial preservatives or fillings in it.
Bread like this...
My husband doesn't buy me chocolates to show me he loves me, he buys me at least two loaves of good bread. I can't eat that much but because good bread making is a dying art form, I prefer to buy too much and financially help keep good bread making alive in our culture. Buying local delicious bread is also a great inexpensive way to support local businesses.
I would also one day like to be skilled at bread making but, as of this time, my breads have always come out less than perfect. However, practice makes perfect and I don't have any family close by to teach me, so I just keep trying.
Some places to buy good bread are ethnic markets, bread shops, etc. At the Polish store, I usually buy a loaf of Wroclawski chleb (a light rye bread without caraway seeds that is oblong shaped), a loaf of Babuni chleb (a much coarser medium colored rye bread), and perhaps a dark rye or whole wheat loaf.
My family in Poland also talks about how amazing Polish bread is. They recently had a guest visit from Holland and we all discussed the differences in breads between our countries, a very interesting conversation.
The word for bread in Polish is "Chleb" (pronounced Hlehb with the "Ch" making a harder "H" sound).
If you are interested, a polish blog I follow, http://amarantqa.blogspot.com/ has recipes and information about breads and other foods. Google translate in the Google toolbar can help with translation of her site into English. The pictures on her site are beautiful in themselves, as well.